Motorists plunge into traffic chaos as main city approach road subsides

THERE was traffic chaos for thousands of motorists in Limerick city yesterday after part of one of the main approach roads to Shannon and Ennis subsided and was closed off.

The Condell Road from Shannon Bridge to Clonmacken roundabout was closed down from 10am on Sunday after part of the road over a tunnel being built as part of the main Limerick drainage scheme subsided.

Motorists from Cork and Kerry travelling to Shannon and Galway were unable to go by the Shannon Bridge and had to travel through the city centre via Sarsfield Bridge onto the main Limerick-Ennis Road with traffic to Dublin-Tipperary-Waterford forced to travel via Thomond Bridge.

“There were considerable early morning traffic delays as all traffic was diverted through the city centre,’’ said a Garda spokesman.

Limerick City Council is investigating the cause of the subsidence of part of the Condell Road near Barrington’s Pier in an effort to have the road re-opened as quickly as possible.

City engineer, Seamus O’Sullivan, said they were building a tunnel eight meters under the road as part of the main Limerick drainage scheme.

“The tunnelling driven under the Condell Road had been completed and work was beyond the road when workers noticed a subsidence of a half metre occurring in a small area. As a precaution the Condell Road was closed to traffic,” he said.

“We carried out a detailed investigation to determine if further subsidence was likely to occur at this location. Repairs were carried out on Sunday which have not so far indicated further subsidence, but our investigations are continuing.

Signs have been erected on the approach roads to alert drivers to the restrictions.

“Limerick City Council regretted the inconvenience caused to motorists, residents and pedestrians by the traffic disruption, and we hope to have the Condell Road re-opened as quickly as possible,’’ said Mr O’Sullivan.

The road is expected to be reopened tomorrow at 7am.

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